D.D. Guttenplan writes from The Nation’s London bureau. His book American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone was awarded the Sperber Prize for biography. He also produced of the acclaimed documentary film Edward Said: The Last Interview, and wrote and presented War, Lies and Audiotape, a radio documentary about the Vietnam War for the BBC. His latest book, The Nation: A Biography, is available in print or as an e-book at TheNation.com/ebooks. Follow him on Twitter @ddguttenplan.
While the politics of the smear are straightforward, the cultural meaning is more complicated—and much nastier.